In recognition of the unique structures of Native communities and the economic burdens they bear, Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program, and related regulations permit such companies Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) to become certified to participate in federal procurement with distinct provisions tailored to meet their unique challenges.
As an SBA-certified ANC 8(a) and HUBZone-certified company, Ahtna Global offers unique, flexible, and streamlined procurement options to our customers. Direct award contracting opportunities present many benefits to our clients, including an accelerated procurement timeline, competitive rates, help meeting socio-economic contracting goals, and a virtually unlimited direct award ceiling.
The SBA ANC 8(a) contracting method avoids a long, expensive, and complex procurement cycle and is significantly faster than any other means of contracting. When using the ANC 8(a) contracting method, a government customer can simply select Ahtna Global as a suggested source and submit a request to the supporting SBA District Office (contact information listed at the bottom of this page), asking that the procurement be pursued under the 8(a) program. The often lengthy, expensive, and tedious process of justifying source selection is thereby avoided.
Additionally, because 8(a) companies may subcontract portions of the work to other firms, Ahtna is able to assemble a perfect team for any particular project.
Open discussion between the government and the ANC during all phases of the procurement allows government project managers the discretion to define a scope of work and to hand pick the contractor to perform the work.
Competitive Threshold Exemption – 13 CFR 124.506(b)
A Participant concern owned and controlled by an ANC may be awarded a direct award 8(a) contract where the anticipated value of the procurement exceeds the applicable competitive threshold if SBA has not accepted the requirement into the 8(a) BD program as a competitive procurement.
There is no requirement that a procurement must be completed whenever possible before it can be accepted on a direct award basis for an ANC-owned concern.
Direct Award Cap Exemption – 13 CFR 124.506(b)
ANCs, unlike other 8(a) companies, provide the government with a virtually unlimited direct award ceiling. SBA may award a direct award 8(a) contract to an ANC with a value less than $22M without a Justification and Approval (J&A). There is no dollar threshold for a direct award with an approved J&A.
Non-Challenged 8(a) Direct Award – 13 CFR 124.517(a)
ANC 8(a) companies eligible for a direct award or competitive 8(a) requirement may not be challenged by another participant or any other party, either to SBA or any administrative forum as part of a bid or other contract protest.
Special Rights Under the A-76 Program
The A-76 program (“A-76” refers to the number of the implementing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular) imposes a long and cumbersome procedure for any government facility that wishes to contract out an activity that employs ten or more civilian government employees. One of the few options open to a DoD command, service, or agency that wants to contract out a function but avoid the cumbersome A-76 process is to award the contract to a tribal or ANC 8(a) firm.
Language in the Defense Appropriations Act provides that a command does not have to go through the A-76 process but may do a direct conversion of that function to a private contractor, regardless of the number of civilian employees, if the command contracts with a firm that is 51% or more Native American owned, so long as the conversion is cost effective.
DoD Indian Incentive (The 5% Subcontracting Bonus) – DFAR 252.226-7001
A DoD contractor that subcontracts with a firm that is 51% or more Native American owned is entitled to receive a rebate equal to 5% of the amount of the subcontract award.
Special HUBZone Advantages
The SBA HUBZone limits competition for certain “set-aside” contracts to certified HUBZone businesses.
HUBZone gives preferential consideration to HUBZone businesses in full and open competition.
HUBZone-certified businesses receive a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions.
How to Expedite an SBA 8(a) Contract
If a solicitation has not been announced, a Contracting Officer can contract directly with Ahtna Global through 13 CFR 124.506(b). To get started, simply submit a letter to the Small Business Administration District Office in Anchorage, Alaska indicating an intent to offer a direct/single-source award to Ahtna Global under the SBA Section 8(a) Business Development Program.